MGM Mirage joins the Cirques!

Jun 18, 2002 10:47 AM

Cirque du Soleil and MGM MIRAGE have formed a partnership that will bring two new projects to Las Vegas and explore new ventures worldwide.

Among the new Cirque projects are two resident shows, one at New York-New York and one at MGM Grand, set to premiere in 2003 and 2004, respectively. To make room, New York-New York will remodel the showroom currently occupied by Lord of the Dance, which is set to close at the end of July.

Although the concepts of the new shows are worlds apart, both are certain to include Cirque du Soleil’s innovative creativity.

The companies’ relationship dates back to when they first teamed up to bring Mystere to the stage at Treasure Island in 1993. Five years later, the aquatic show "O" was born of this same partnership and took up permanent residence at Bellagio. As the tenth anniversary of this relationship draws near, MGM MIRAGE and Cirque du Soleil are expanding their partnership with these new projects and the commitment to develop new concepts worldwide.

"This partnership is built on the mutual success achieved by our two businesses throughout the past decade," said J. Terrence Lanni, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of MGM MIRAGE. "Cirque du Soleil proved that it had an excellent understanding of Las Vegas by fundamentally changing the form of entertainment here with their groundbreaking artistic vision first with Mystere and then with ”˜O.’ Now we want to work together to explore new areas in which they can continue to cultivate their unique creativity not only in Las Vegas but throughout our projects in the U.S. and around the world."

Guy Laliberte, President, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Cirque du Soleil, added that, "MGM MIRAGE has an excellent grasp of the creative strengths and energy that drive Cirque du Soleil. We have always held fast to our dream of reinventing other forms of entertainment. Terry Lanni and his team have confidence in us and are assisting us to do so."

"We have set out to stimulate the imagination, fire the senses and touch the emotions of spectators around the world," says Laliberte. "The potential of Las Vegas is still vast. Some 36 million people visit the city each year and we believe there is room for continued growth to encourage them to take the opportunity to see shows as part of their Las Vegas experience."

The new productions that Cirque du Soleil is preparing could be described as "hybrid" in the sense that they draw on a number of disciplines.

"Whatever the creative niche we’re developing may be, we are committed to maintaining the level of quality and creativity associated with the Cirque du Soleil brand," says Lyn Heward, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Creative Content Division.

Cirque du Soleil has always put creativity at the heart of all its production and management activities. Creativity is the very essence of Cirque. "We have worked with creators from all over the world to design, produce and stage our shows," explained Guy Laliberte. "We will continue to promote the developing talent of new creators by undertaking new collaborative projects."

Creative Project at New York-New York

Under the leadership of French Director Philippe Decoufle and Director of Creation Andrew Watson, this production will take a fresh look at traditional music hall shows. Sensual, exotic and provocative, the show will feature a blend of dance, humor and acrobatics. "Each of the scenes in this show promises a high-caliber sensual and artistic experience," explains Lyn Heward. The theatre of the New York-New York ­­hotel will be rebuilt to house the show in 2003.

Internationally acclaimed Philippe Decoufle is a dancer, choreographer and filmmaker. Among his many achievements is the staging of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympic Games in ­­Albertville, France, in 1992.

Creative Project at the MGM Grand

This second project will shake the spectator’s perception of space, conception of the law of gravity, and comprehension of the world in three dimensions. Robert Lepage will direct the show and Guy Caron will serve as Director of Creation. "We hope to offer spectators an experience that’s larger than life," says Lyn Heward. The experience will be served up to audiences in the theatre of the MGM Grand, starting in 2004.

Robert Lepage is a key figure in the Canadian theatre world. A creator with a highly visual style and multidisciplinary interests, his works have been shown in North America, ­­Europe, and Asia-Pacific.